Villains. The characters we hate to love. The bad guys. The antagonists.
In MARKS OF A HORSEKEEPER, there are two villains, but we'll focus on Ocho, ruler of the Riff mine. Henry the VIII was my inspiration. As a young girl, growing up in the Episcopal church, I was fascinated by King Henry. Who was this man that could single-handedly throw off the Catholic church because he wanted a new wife, cuter, younger, more capable of producing an heir? And let's talk about Anne Boleyn. I think studying Henry VIII gave me my first view at the disposable nature in which some men view women. Misogyny at its finest. Even in elementary school I understood both the fundamental wrongness of this and the inherent fear that comes with being part of a physically weaker sex. So my villain, Ocho, is a misogynist with rules. He doesn't allow his betrothed girls to marry until they're eighteen. But love, forget it. And value - he only assigns that if Roan, my MC, does what he says.
In SING TO THE WIND, my villain is Sammy. He's basically every Southern backwoods redneck I've ever met in my life. (And being from Alabama, I represent, yo.) Small-minded, out for himself, devious, flawed. I needed to struggle to give him any redeeming quality but my CP insisted, so I let him put up with his wife, Whitney's, foster animal addiction. Sammy's a drug-dealer with a teenage bride and a toddler son. But it is all about him and he's not about to let you forget it.
So, what about you? Where do you find your villains?